New streaming service launches in South Africa – here’s everything you need to know about BritBox

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Line of Duty. (Photo: BritBox)
Line of Duty. (Photo: BritBox)
  • British streaming service BritBox is launching in South Africa in August.
  • BritBox will offer the best BBC and ITV content straight to SA viewers without having to work through traditional TV channels.
  • You can now watch fresh and classic British TV shows whenever and wherever you want for R99.99 per month.

The British video streaming service BritBox, jointly run by ITV and the BBC, announced on Tuesday evening during a virtual press event that it will be launching in South Africa on 6 August.

SA is only the 5th global territory - after the US, UK, Canada, and Australia - where it will be available at a price of R99.99 per month, including a 7-day free trial.

BritBox will join South Africa's video streaming wars where MultiChoice's Showmax, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ are competing with VIU, Vodacom Video Play and TelkomONE. Other international streaming services like HBO Max, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock and Discovery+ are still to launch locally.

Then there is also Acorn TV, likely BritBox's biggest competitor that is already available in South Africa, also offering a 7-day free trial and costing R79 per month for access to its revolving catalogue of British TV content.

Britbox in South Africa will be accessible online, as well as on all mobile and tablet devices, while Apple TV set-top boxes, Samsung and LG smart TV sets are also included.

Reemah Sakaan, BritBox International CEO, at the virtual media launch on Tuesday evening, said that when BritBox launches in South Africa on 6 August, it will have "record-levels" of exclusive content. 

ITV Studios and BBC First from BBC Studios were recently terminated on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service and saw the loss of a large chunk of British TV content.

"We chose South Africa as our next priority region because we know there's a massive loyal fanbase for British television and it's growing," she says.

"BritBox is perfectly placed to respond to the new shifting patterns of behaviours of the way people want to watch. We see new audiences discovering gems from the past to love and generational audiences finding hot new premieres to sink their teeth into - and that's the beauty of streaming."

"In the past few years, British content has moved firmly into streaming centre-stage while also maintaining its high-quality benchmark in character-driven storytelling. That's why we seized the opportunity to tap into that appetite and created BritBox."

Emma Naomi and Ben Miller in Professor T
Emma Naomi and Ben Miller in Professor T. (Photo: BritBox)

What to expect

Britbox series will include stars ranging from Idris Alba, Helen Mirren, Judi Densch, Martin Clunes and Dominic West. Some of the shows at the launch of BritBox will include Absolutely Fabulous, Blackadder, Broadchurch, Fawlty Towers, Inspector Morse, Line of Duty, Luther, Manhunt, Mr Bean, Unforgotten, Professor T, The Midwife, The Office, Wedding of the Century, Vera, as well as Victoria.

"In a sea of other streamers Britbox does exactly what it says on the tin. We pride ourselves in giving subscribers a highly curated and distinctive offering versus others. It's the largest selection of British box sets all in one place for all to discover, rediscover and to binge and enjoy."

"Due to the recent closure of some linear TV channels, BritBox in South Africa will have record-levels of exclusivity," Reemah said during the launch live from New York City.

"Premieres will regularly arrive within hours of their UK transmission, she said "making us the fastest from UK screen to BritBox stream.”

"Our research tells us that South African audiences have a really broad variety of tastes. We know for instance that they love British comedies, are passionate about crime series, and mad about period drama, and who doesn't love a classic Agatha Christie mystery?

"They're also adventurous and keen to try something new and edgy. So it's all of that finding a sweet spot for South African audiences as we hand-select programmes."

Exec Neale Dennett, BritBox new markets launch director, said that BritBox South Africa will be bringing consumers several latest seasons of ongoing British series.

Customers who sign up for BritBox for a 1-year subscription will get two months added on for free.

Follow Channel24 on Instagram to stay updated with the latest TV and movie news in South Africa.

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